Synthesis, properties and thermal decomposition of the Ta4AlC3 MAX phase

Matteo Griseri, Bensu Tunca, Thomas Lapauw, Shuigen Huang, Lucia Popescu, Michel W. Barsoum, Konstantina Lambrinou, Jozef Vleugels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


The present work describes a synthesis route for bulk Ta 4 AlC 3 MAX phase ceramics with high phase purity. Pressure-assisted densification was achieved by both hot pressing and spark plasma sintering of Ta 2 H, Al and C powder mixtures in the 1200–1650 °C range. The phases present and microstructures were characterized as a function of the sintering temperature by X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. High-purity α-Ta 4 AlC 3 was obtained by hot pressing at 1500 °C for 30 min at 30 MPa. The β-Ta 4 AlC 3 allotrope was observed in the samples produced by SPS. The Young's modulus, Vickers hardness, flexural strength and single-edge V-notch beam fracture toughness of the high-purity bulk sample were determined. The thermal decomposition of Ta 4 AlC 3 into TaC x and Al vapour in high (˜10 −5 mbar) vacuum at 1200 °C and 1250 °C was also investigated, as a possible processing route to produce porous TaC x components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2973-2981
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the European Ceramic Society
Issue number10
Early online date8 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


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